OLC Articles

Simple, At-Home Composting Tips

By Alex Beguin

The process of naturally breaking down organic matter into soil has been around since our planet first started sprouting plants. Humans have used composting since the days of hunting and gathering. One could imagine families and villages throwing all of their organic waste into a pile to rot and soon realizing that it made terrific soil to plant with. Thousands of years later, we still find a large amount of the population who take advantage of this natural process to help their gardens produce more, their house plants grow stro

Out and About with AOLCPs

Shaping Beauty in a Chaos of Concrete
By Kathy LitchfieldFrom left: Ralph Padilla, influential tree care figure Alex Shigo, and arborist Chris Roddick

Out and About With AOLCPs

Lifelong Wildlife Lover Nash Pradhan Designs with Respect for Nature

 

By Kathy Litchfield

Out and About With AOLCPs


Lifelong Wildlife Lover Nash Pradhan Designs with Respect for Nature

By Kathy Litchfield

Lawns: An Organic Approach to Grubs

Several organic landscaping professionals in the Northeast have reported that they have little to no grub problems in organically managed lawns. Scientists have yet to determine why this is. How do you know if you have a grub problem?

May is the time for Spring Tiphia

May is the time for Spring Tiphia

By Ana Legrand, University of Connecticut

Out and About with AOLCPs

Peter Hinrichs Connects Youths with the Organic Environment 

OLC Apprentice Program Going Strong in Massachusetts

By Kathy Litchfield 

Out and About With AOLCPs

Overcoming Barriers: Omar Thomas Offers Compost Tea and Organic Products in Bucks County

By Kathy Litchfield

 

Soil Testing and Labs

Jump down to list of soil test labs...

The first step before implementing any new landscaping should always be to take a soil test. A soil test will tell you exactly what your lawn or garden needs so you can add only those nutrients that are necessary.  You send a sample of your soil to a soil testing laboratory, and they send a report on the chemistry of your soil with specific recommendations of what types of fertilizers and nutrients to add to optimize the soil for what it is you want to grow.

It's All About The Water: Managing Stormwater with Rain Gardens, Permeable Surfaces, and Tree Boxes

On September 27 the Organic Land Care Program hosted its third Advanced Workshop in 2012 about stormwater management at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Attendees gathered in the Hanson Education building at the Beardsley Zoo.  The workshop opened with a brief welcome from Jeanne Yuckienuz, Senior Keeper and Associate Curator of the Beardsley Zoo (and also an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional) and some background about the City of Bridgeport's green infrastructure projects from Steve Hladun of the City of Bridgeport Department of Parks and Recreation.

Donald Watson, an architect with Earth Rise Design LLC, and one of the developers of the Beardsley Zoo's next rainwater infiltration project, presented on a biofiltration project in Trumbull that modeled different biofiltration features and then outlined the Beardsley zoo project.  There are six phases, but the 319 Grant provides funding for the first phase, shown below. 

Heather Crawford, an Accreditation Course Instructor and former Extension Educator with the Connecticut Sea Grant provided an overview of water pollution, the Pequonnock River, low impact development and bioretention features.  Heather explained that polluted runoff is the number one water quality problem in the United States, especially in dense residential and urban areas where the run off rates are 3 to 10 times greater.  The Pequonnock Watershed (where the Beardsley Zoo is located) has been classified as a priority watershed as having an impact on Long Island Sound's water quality.  Heather discussed Low Impact Development which combines pollution prevention with water filtration features to reduce the impact of development on a river's flow and water quality.  Low Impact Development includes: rain gardens, bio-infiltration systems, grassed swales, green roofs and permeable pavement.

Rain gardens are the most effective way to deal with run off from roofs onsite for most residential properties.  Heather outlined the basic design principles:

Out and About with AOLCPs

 

 

Two AOLCPs Build Gardens, Encourage Bees and Chickens as Homefront Farmers

BY KATHY LITCHFIELD

Out and About with AOLCPs

 Hugh Knowlton Transforms Bergen County Community College with Organics

BY KATHY LITCHFIELD

Out and About with AOLCPs: Hugh Knowlton Transforms Bergen County Community College with Organics

BY KATHY LITCHFIELD

PARAMUS, N.J. – A lack of snow at Bergen Community College this past winter was a blessing for Hugh Knowlton, grounds supervisor at the 110 acre campus with 17,000 commuting students.

Out and About with AOLCPs

Intuitive, Organic "Earth Care" for Block Island's Delicate Ecosytems

Ned Phillips works for an island-wide ban on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers

 

By Kathy Litchfield

Living and Breathing Organic: Paula Kovecses Designs Healthy Landscapes

Another installment of our "Out and About With AOLCPs" series

By Kathy Litchfield

Out and About with AOLCPs

Kevin Burke Reintroduces Streetcars to Atlanta with 1,200 Acres of Organic Parks
 
BY KATHY LITCHFIELD
ATLANTA, GA.

Out and About with AOLCPs: Camilla Worden Teams up with Mason John Petriello

Once upon a time, in what feels like a lifetime ago, AOLCP Camilla Worden worked as a polymer chemist researching epoxy resins in the plastics and additives division of a large Swiss firm. She earned her master’s degree in business at New York University and then worked in marketing and product management, getting out from under the chemistry laboratory hood.  Then one day, she found herself staring out the window, and wondering what it was like outside.

My Landscape Ramblings

My Landscape Ramblings - by David Sanders

> Spotlight on People - Richard Bajana

NOFA Accredited Professional, 2006
Richard Landscaping LLC
Bethesda, MD

“Organic Landscaping is a Way of Life”

By Kathy Litchfield

Maintaining Quality Turfgrass under CT’s Lawn Care Pesticide Ban: Information for Schools and Day Care Centers

1. Is it possible to maintain healthy turfgrass without pesticides? Yes, but groundskeepers will have to rely more on mechanical treatments and other cultural control methods to grow and maintain healthy grass like they did prior to the widespread use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. These methods include vigorous overseeding, aerating the soil to relieve compaction, adjusting mowing heights, monitoring for pests, and application of fertilizers and other amendments based on soil test results.

> Spotlight on People - Daniel MacPhee

Daniel MacPhee

NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, 2008 
Yale Sustainable Food Project Manager
New Haven, CT

By Kathy Litchfield

Mulching: Save Money by Using Leaves as Mulch

http://www.fosterfollynews.com/news/2011Jan4Savemoneybyusingleavesasamulch.php

Save Money by Using Leaves as Mulch

Mulch is any material placed on the soil surface to moderate the soil environment and enhance landscape aesthetics.

Vermicomposting: Gardeners: Get Thee to a Wormery

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/jan/12/gardener-get-thee-wormery/

By: Joe Lamp'l / Scripps Howards News Service

If thoughts of a steaming-hot compost pile in your backyard are just not practical for whatever reason, consider making a worm bin instead. It's a great project for even apartment gardeners and a super project to involve kids.

> Spotlight on People

Matt Kucik 

Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, 2010
Meridian Landscaping,
Herndon, VA

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